Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

In Modern Languages, we aim to develop students’ ability to communicate accurately and with confidence in French, German and Spanish both orally and in written form. During our language lessons, students use traditional and new media to complete activities using all four skills. We place a huge emphasis on student engagement and aim for students to enjoy their lessons and have fun experimenting with the language.

Listening and speaking exercises are designed for students to extend their vocabulary and ultimately autonomously improve their communication, pronunciation and fluency. Speaking activities are conducted in pairs or in groups in the target language with an emphasis on collaborative support and peer assessment. This helps students to build their confidence when speaking another language and to foster their imagination and competence when creating their own speaking activities. Writing and reading exercises reinforce and extend their knowledge of vocabulary as well as focussing on spelling and grammar. Part of our homework strategy is to encourage students to read texts independently and to write their response to a set task as well as to research cultural and social topics. In addition, we expect students to commit to learning vocabulary on a regular basis. This knowledge is tested in class. We also aim to promote students’ independent learning and enjoyment of the language across all Key Stages, by playing games and team based activities using technology and games. We also have subscriptions to interactive language software which can also be accessed from home.
We are a hard-working and dedicated team who come from a wide variety of educational and personal backgrounds. Our team consists of one native speaker and staff who have spent time in French, German and Spanish speaking countries and as a result are extremely talented linguists. We are an experienced team and look forward to welcoming new teachers and trainee teachers in a supportive and friendly department. In addition, we have embraced fully the opportunities that Google has offered us and regularly seek opportunities to embed technology into our teaching so we develop as teachers.

KS3

In Key Stage 3, our modern language students will be able to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.  We will also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read texts in the original language.  They will develop an appreciation for the languages studied and gain a deeper understanding of the culture of French, German and Spanish speaking countries.  Students have the opportunity to study two languages in year 7 and then consolidate their knowledge of a single language in year 8 and 9 in order to best prepare them for the challenge of the new GCSEs.

Students are taught in a mixed ability setting in years 8 and 9.  In year 7, we broadly follow the setting model followed by students’ English ability.

Topics studied in MFL include:

Year 7

  • Self
  • Numbers
  • Family
  • Physical descriptions
  • Pets
  • School
  • Time
  • Sports
  • House
  • Food
  • Places in town
  • Clothes

Year 8

  • Personal details
  • Descriptions of friends
  • Clothes
  • Food and drink
  • House and local area
  • Weather
  • Holiday last year
  • Holidays
  • Inviting a friend out
  • Local area/places in town
  • Technology
  • Media
  • Parties and festivals

Year 9

  • Personal details
  • Hobbies/leisure activities
  • Healthy lifestyles, illness and parts of the body
  • Transport and visiting cities abroad
  • Parties and Festivals
  • Environment
  • Part-time jobs
  • Describing clothes
  • Family life and home
  • Rules at home
  • Jobs and ambitions
  • Resolutions for the future

KS4

In Key Stage 4, our modern language students can chose to benefit from further language learning and add a european dimension to their choice of GCSE subjects, which is something that many future employers and higher education providers look for.  The new GCSE course offers the opportunity to study some literary texts as well as transactional language in the speaking exam.  They will learn many skills which are useful in a wide range of careers, such as the ability to communicate clearly, confidence in speaking in public and off the cuff and using problem solving strategies to respond to a range of text types.

The course itself is split into 3 main themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

The new GCSE is examined at the end of the two year course:

There are four papers, each covering one skill:  Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

All set and marked by AQA with 25% equal weighting for each skill.  Tiered papers in all four skills, students must sit either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier in all four skills.

The department follows AQA and more information about the course and subject specification can be found at: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages

Students are taught in a mixed ability setting.

KS5

In Key Stage 5, our students have the option to continue with languages, equipping them to study and work in other countries later in life. This course allows students to develop confident, effective communication skills in the language of their choice and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where the language is spoken through the study of film and literature

More information about the course and subject specification can be found at www.AQA.org.uk

Enrichment Opportunities

We are delighted to be able to offer extra-curricular visits as part of our curriculum.   Last academic year we were able to run successful visits to Paris and to Barcelona.   We hope to be able to offer these next year.  We also ran a pen-pal scheme with a school in France last year and hope to renew this in the future.  

Our Extra Curricular provision for 2017/18

We offer an MFL support session on Wednesday lunchtimes which aims to support students who would like support with their language learning.   We also hope to offer an extra-curricular film club in the summer term of 2018 to enrich our students learning and to enthuse students further and to learn more about the culture of a target language country.